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  • Spitting Image

    March 3, 2006

    Since Sean’s first dental checkup, I have been trying to impress upon him the importance of good dental hygiene and brushing properly. Several times a day, I pull a stool up to the sink for him to stand on and show him how to brush, rinse and spit. The brushing part he has down pretty good. Spitting? Not so much.

    This morning, after breakfast, it went like this:

    AM: Okay, now go like this (leaning over the sink) P’toooey! (daintily pretending to spit into the sink)
    Sean: Puh-tooey! (I hear a thud as he bumps his head on the bottom of the sink) Mommy I spitted!

    He emerges from the depths of the sink, still foaming at the mouth with toothpaste. The concept of spitting suddenly strikes him as hysterical and he sprays my face with the watermelon toothpaste that was supposed to go into the sink.

    AM: (wiping toothpaste from my eye) No, Sweetie. You actually spit the toothpaste out of your mouth – like this – Puh-tooey! – and into the sink.
    Sean: Pfuhthooey! Like a whay-yull!
    AM: A whale?
    Sean: Jonah! Ptooh!
    AM: Yes, like a whale spitting out Jonah, only toothpaste. And into the sink.

    Later on, after lunch, I changed Sean’s diaper and then stood him up on the changing table to get his pants on him. As we stood there eyeball to eyeball, my sweet precious boy splatters me like Jackson Pollack.

    Sean: Mommy I spitted! Fffffft (sucking up a gravity-defying line of spittle)
    AM: (shocked) Sean DO NOT spit! That was NOT nice! Spitting is UN-acceptable, except for when you are brushing your teeth. You may only spit in the sink after brushing your teeth. Do you understand me?
    Sean: Pfffthoot! Ffffffth. Slurp. (giggle)
    AM: OK. That does it. Daddy, can you come in here and have a chat with your boy?
    AD: (using his authoritative Dad-voice) Sean, spitting is not acceptable.
    Sean: (Smiles broadly, hoping to charm AD out of a reprimand with his unbearable cuteness of being.)
    AD: Sean, I am not kidding. It’s not funny. Spitting will not be tolerated. I’m quite serious about that young man. (pauses for parental dramatic effect) Now wipe that smile off your face.
    Sean: Sorry Daddy (He grabs a baby wipe, vigorously wipes the smile off his face, then contritely hands it to Antique Daddy.)

    They say it takes more muscles to frown than to laugh. But today I found out that it takes twice as many muscles to not laugh when you are supposed to be frowning.

    I taught him how to spit. It will be up to his dad to teach him how to scratch.

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